Clare: Hello, I'm Clare and welcome to Smart Investor the show that can help you get the most from your investments. If you're considering investing the prospect of good returns can make it seem like a great idea.
But don't rush in too quickly. Investing carries risk, and positive returns can't be guaranteed and you may lose money. It won't be a suitable option for everyone but it is worth considering for some people. So we took to the streets to find out who invests and why.
Person 1: So the key things I would want to invest for would be for my future, like a pension scheme.
Person 2: Just for financial security. When you have a large amount of money you want to make sure it can grow in the future.
Person 3: Well, the thing is, when you actually have spare cash around you can keep it in your bank or you can keep it in savings but you want your money to work for you. If it's not going to be for the short term, it's got to be long term. If you have a small family, you want to make sure what you invest in now is going to be available for them.
And it's teaching them the right way of using the money. Sometimes it's not only about glamorous spending it's about reinvesting the money, making sure you get good returns and keeping an eye on the market as well.
Clare: So future financial security seems to be one of the main reasons people invest. If you're looking to invest, there are some things to think about first. We've worked with our Behavioural Finance team at Barclays to develop some key investment principles.
Firstly, get your finances in order. Make a list of everything you've got coming in and going out every month. Look at what's essential spending. Is there anything you can cut back on to save money? Next, manage your debt, it can be a millstone around your neck. If you owe money on credit cards or have a loan look to pay those off first.
Before you consider investing, it's important to build up cash savings for emergencies like a boiler breaking down. Once you've built up that emergency pot, investing could be worth considering. You just need to be comfortable with the risks and have money you can put away for at least five years.
Don't forget insurance. You've probably got car and home insurance but what about your family? If something were to happen to you life insurance and critical illness cover could prove really important for your financial dependents. If you're not confident about making financial decisions do seek professional advice. An independent financial advisor may spot gaps in your finances identify goals and suggest investments to help you achieve them.
Remember that although we can't offer personal advice we're hoping each episode will provide you with the insight and tools you need to be a smarter investor. Just go to our website and find out more.